Guest Musician Marla Mbemba

Meet Marla

Why did you start playing the bass?
I started playing bass guitar after a period of being addicted to the video game ‘Guitar Hero’. I thought, “if I’m this good at pressing these buttons, maybe I oughta try playing on a real instrument”. So I started lessons at school back in 2011!

How often do you play?
I play almost every day. It’s not always about sitting down and bashing out a six-hour practice regimen, sometimes I’ll play to learn part of a song or to record ideas into Logic to work on later.

Can you share a favourite video or song with us?
Esperanza Spalding – Radio song (!!!)

How could I get started playing the bass?
I’d recommend the Gear4Music bass starter packs that include a bass, amp, strap, case and lead. Then listen to songs you like and try to pay attention to what the bass is doing. It’s great practice to learn songs by ear but if it’s difficult at first, there are lots of website that provide tabs and there are tutorials on YouTube! The best way to learn is to do – i.e. rather than just playing exercises and scales, it’s best to tackle these things in the context of a song. And it makes it more enjoyable!

What is your favourite sound to make?
I love playing a tremolo sound – nice and suspenseful!

What is your favourite music to play?
I love to play funk and acid jazz music (think Jamiroquai and Sly and the Family Stone). The grooves are always really fun, though the syncopation can be challenging.

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